Beginning early next year, the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa’s downtown drop-in centre on Besserer Street will be getting a much-needed facelift.
On Wednesday, the federal and provincial governments announced a $533,334 investment in the 60-year-old building. Along with the YSB, they will each be investing one-third of the nearly $800,000 project.
The renovations will provide youth and workers with better laundry and washroom facilities, improved counselling and meeting spaces, as well as better food storage and eating areas.
YSB youth worker Chip McHugh said renovations are a long time coming.
“The youth feel that this is their home, because some of them don’t have a home. It’s a much-needed change and we’re really happy the government is supporting our cause,” he said. “When you have old things, it’s good to have new things.”
The outside of the building will be repaired and the windows and doors will be replaced with energy-efficient fixtures.
“This investment will not only help the Youth Services Bureau with capital costs, it will also assist the program’s operating costs as a result of energy efficient upgrades,” said Ottawa West-Nepean MPP Jim Watson.
As part of the provincial and federal economic stimulus campaign, work is expected to be completed before March 2011. The work will be done in stages to minimize the disruption to youth who attend the drop-in.